British skiers Josh Penning-Lambert and Robert Trebilcock both improved their FIS points in a series of races at the South African ski resort of Tiffindell.
Both racers were brought over by their trainer Toby Fishel to gain valuable points and experience before the full European winter season. There were a total of 10 slalom races across five days in South Africa, which was a world record for the amount of slalom races held in a short space of time.
Tiffendel has an altitude of 2720m and is located in the Eastern Cape Highlands area of the country. The first ever FIS race on the African continent was held in Tiffendel back in 2014. The slope has been homologated by FIS for both slalom and giant slalom races.
18-year-old Penning Lambert did his first FIS races last season and South Africa was a good chance to lower his points before another European season.
The former Wycombe ski centre skier’s best points finish was his opening race in Africa where he finished seventh place but scored an impressive 57.84 FIS points. This was coupled with another seventh place finish with a 59.60 the next day. His best positional performance was his fifth race in Tiffindel where he finished third overall.
This performance has put Penning Lambert 17th on the British FIS list and third amongst his year of birth with 58.72 points.
The young British skier was happy with his travels: “South Africa was an adventure I’d recommend to anyone. The people are delightful, very accompanying and helpful. The place has perfect conditions with aggressive snow which is perfect for training.”
Penning Lambert also summed up his performance: “I went out to South Africa with 239 points and came back with 58.72 which I was rather proud of since it was the first time back on skies for over a year!”
22-year-old Trebilcock has been on the FIS circuit a bit longer than his fellow teammate but he has been making steady progress over the years. South Africa was a good chance to put in good performances after coming back from injuries and illnesses recently.
The Hemel racer’s best FIS point performance was on his seventh race where he placed 4th and scored 33.62 points. He backed this up with two overall wins on his second day and penultimate race in South Africa.
The Londoner now sits in the British top ten FIS point list not far behind many established skiers on the current British team with 39.91 points.
Trebilcock talked about his experience in South Africa: “Personally I found it really hard to get back into the swing of races after being off with illness, so consistency was a problem to start with.
“I was also pleased that despite my lack of skiing I managed to adapt so quickly and ski faster than ever.”
Trebilcock also looks forward to the new European season: “The races were a perfect start to the new year and it will hopefully give me confidence to consolidate my results in Europe with some more low 30 point scores.”
It’s interesting to see many British skiers going to different continents during the summer months to drop their points in time for the European winter season. South Africa has now been added to the list of places to go to train and race in the off-season.
By Peter Davies
Results on FIS Page under TIFFENDELL